Evergreen State College expects 20% drop in enrollment


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The president of Evergreen State College is predicting that the university will see a drop in enrollment in the coming year just below 20%.

President George Bridges has told the campus community that the school’s 3,800 student population is predicted to hover at about 3,100 when the 2018-19 school year begins. This 700-student loss represents an 18.5 percent decrease.

This estimate sent shock waves among faculty, and some speculate it spurred an anonymous call for Bridges’ resignation by way of flyers recently inserted into faculty mailboxes declaring “Please Resign,” among other disparaging comments.

The Olympia, Washington-based school already was hit with a 5 percent enrollment decrease when it started this current 2017-18 school year.

I am surprised and somewhat disappointed that the drop wasn’t more. After the attacks on free speech last year, I wonder why anyone would want to attend this college, especially since it appears the college’s administration continues to refuse to do anything to really change things there.

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6 comments

  • Kyle

    If you spend some time along the Portland/Olympia/Tacoma/Seattle/Everett/Bellingham corridor, almost anywhere west of the Cascade Mountains except for my town (Trump campaigned here during the primary) and a handful of other similar sized enclaves, you would be wondering why enrollment isn’t expected to increase.

  • @ Kyle:

    I lived in Seattle (currently reside in close proximity to Portlandistan), and the joke was that everyone went to Evergreen, but no one seemed to graduate. 20%? It’s a start. I’d hope Reed College in Portland would experience a similar decline, but it is deep inside the Blue bubble.

  • Kyle

    @ Blair Ivery
    Lets hope this blue bubble pops sometime soon and people come to their senses, I used to live in Portlandistan and don’t want a progressive income tax to trickle up here. Thank God for Eastern Washington.

  • DJN

    The blue bubble is just getting bluer and bigger in Western Washington. Can’t wait to leave.

  • Dick Eagleson

    I think the Evergreen situation is actually a lot more dire than this report suggests.

    The 20% reduction in total enrollment will be disproportionately concentrated in the incoming freshman class. If the previous year’s total enrollment of 3,800 was equally divided across class levels, for example, that would make 850 in this year’s freshman class. Assuming no defections from the upper three classes, this year’s freshman class would have to be a mere 150 to get to that overall enrollment number of 3,100. That’s a massive drop – over 80%.

    In reality, the drop in year-to-year freshman class size is probably not this high as we already know there was a 5% enrollment decrease last year – again, most likely heavily concentrated in the incoming freshman class – so the current freshman class is almost certainly somewhat smaller than 850. It’s also very unlikely that at least some of the shrinking total enrollment won’t be accounted for by current sophomores, juniors and seniors bailing out to complete their degrees elsewhere.

    All that said, though, the drop in incoming freshman class size still seems quite likely to exceed 50% on top of last year’s decline. No wonder the college president chose to play a damage-control semantic and statistical game by only acknowledging the total enrollment decline. That’s a scary number, but hardly as scary as the much larger actual percentage drop in incoming freshmen. For a college or university this sort of sudden enrollment drop is a massive step along a short road to extinction.

  • wodun

    Kyle

    …you would be wondering why enrollment isn’t expected to increase.

    Yup. That was my thought.

    Thank God for Eastern Washington.

    We are pretty purple over here and immigration thanks to legal weed and other reasons means we are getting more Democrats. That land use decision by the Supreme Court also forces people to live in built up areas, meaning that people who like a bit of land and some privacy might just move to Idaho or someplace else.

    You should see the insanity of road diets, making rivers people, and restricting who gets to use public lands. A lot of people go for it though.

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